“It is my first sortie in Tejas, it is a good aircraft for induction into IAF operations”, said Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the Chief of Air Staff after flying the indigenously designed and produced Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) for about 30 minutes at HAL airport here today at around 12 noon. Group Captain M. Rangachari was with him in the twin-seater trainer aircraft. “It is a moral boosting gesture from the IAF Chief and reposes great confidence of our valuable customer in our abilities”, said Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
The Air Chief Marshal carried out manoeuvers in the entire flying envelope of the aircraft. He carried out simulated air to air and air to ground attacks. He also assessed the advanced modes of the radar and Helmet Mounted Display Sight (HMDs). An ace fighter pilot himself, Air Chief Marshal Raha appreciated the flying qualities of the aircraft. He congratulated the entire team of HAL and others involved in getting the LCA program to this stage.
The series production of the Tejas aircraft has already commenced at HAL Bengaluru and the first squadron of the LCA is expected to be formed by July 2016.
The Air Chief also inaugurated LCA Painting hangar at HAL’s LCA Tejas Division. He took stock of HTT-40 (Basic Trainer) which was parked on the tarmac besides visiting LCA production line and other facilities.